We meet up on the road at Monsal Head. It's a familiar enough spot for us, and today it isn't too busy. Hardly surprising. There is a river running down the edge of the road with more rain to come.
We drop down from Monsal Head, pause to admire the crinoid fossils in the limestone 'steps', then reach the level trail and set off, plenty to talk about means that we are well and truly occupied, and the easy going underfoot means we aren't having to be on our guard.
As we reach the bridge over the road we notice, on our left, large lime kilns. However, lunch is a more tantalising prospect than exploration, so we cross the bridge and approach the station where there are toilets, benches to sit on but, alas, no shelter.
However, the rain seems to be coming in fits and starts, so we find a bench next to the station wall and settle down to eat. Coffee is essential, and we are soon warmed through. Sandwiches/salad are quickly eaten but the buns are worth savouring and are magnificent. PC has done us proud. Tarts filled with tangy lemon 'custard' and topped with fresh raspberries. They lift the gloomy day into something special.
Once the buns are devoured, and the coffee finished, it is time to head back. Alternative routes are awash with rain and mud so it is just a case of retracing our steps. And as is so often the case, the journey back seems to be shorter and take less time than the journey out. Even the steep climb from the trail to the head doesn't take us long.
The rain hasn't been quite as bad as we had been led to believe (so much for hour by hour forecasts!) so we have been able to enjoy the walk, and make new discoveries along the way.